I do want to elaborate a bit on what these hurdles are. Maybe if I can successfully describe these mental roadblocks to you, then you can celebrate with me as I pass each one.
Hurdle: Blood draws. Each week I have my labs run, checking my hcg, progesterone, and estrogen levels. I have no problems with needles. It's the numbers game - I am constantly comparing this pregnancy's numbers to my December pregnancy. Yesterday's draw equaled the highest hcg I got with my last pregnancy before I miscarried.
Next blood draw is Monday. God willing, I will overcome this hurdle. Fear, be gone!
Hurdle: Bleeding. Last pregnancy I had two bleeding episodes while maintaining great hcg levels. And then I had a surprise miscarriage in January. I had a bleeding episode Sunday morning (thank you, Lord, it wasn't at church!). The fear is twofold: the bleeding in and of itself, but also what it represents - the beginning of my last miscarriage.
Unfortunately, there's no "expiration date" of this hurdle. I know that bleeding is not uncommon in pregnancy, especially early pregnancy. Fear, be gone!
Hurdle: The first ultrasound. We've now had four transfers with our Texas clinic and I have not yet been able to see a heartbeat on an ultrasound. Last pregnancy, we miscarried the day before the ultrasound. I did see one little baby, on her way out, no heartbeat. While I haven't scheduled the appointment yet, the ultrasound will be sometime next week.
Dear Lord, I am praying so hard that we see heartbeats next week! Fear, be gone!
Hurdle: The transition from clinic to OB. This obstacle dates back to our very first transfer in May 2009. We had good initial numbers, and then a beautiful first ultrasound. And then I went to my first OB appointment at eleven weeks only to see she had stopped growing already. And her heart had stopped.
I have a lot more monitoring now than I did back then, so this hurdle is a teeny bit less scary than the others. It's also more remote, as the transition won't take place until probably early November. Nonetheless, fear, be gone!
I'm praying the novena to St. Therese through praymorenovenas.com. I typically am at least one day behind schedule with the prayer schedule which meant I prayed this Sunday, after my bleeding episode:
Despite great suffering during her life, St. Therese still trusted deeply in God. Today, let's pray to have the same trust and strength when we suffer through hard times.
The suffering can come in many forms, but none of us are immune to it. Jesus carried His cross and asked us to take up ours and follow Him.
Since that is what He asks, He will give us the grace and strength to endure the suffering of this life as long as we continue to trust and hope in Him.
St. Therese, pray for us!
While I don't know what the future may bring, I did find comfort in those words. I continue to try to offer up my fear and exchange it for joy in the present gifts I have been given. And maintain hope for the future.